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Mapithel Sensitized To Environment

IMPHAL, Feb 14: A day-long environment camp in relation to Mapithel Valley area was held under the theme of ‘Stewardship of our land and natural resources’ at Chadong village today.

Organized under the aegis of Manpithel Dam Affected Villages’ Organization (MDAVO), the camp was held with MDAVO advisor Thanmi Kashung as moderator and Pastor of MBCC Imphal Rev L Simon  Raimei; Director of College Development Council, MU Dr RK Ranjan and president of Naga Women’s Union Aram Pamei as resource persons.

Speaking at the occasion, Rev L Simon Raomei pointed out that nature and human being have always lived together since time immemorial. At that time, people lived happily without any need for disturbing the ecological balance. But after Nature and science came together, the ecological balance was disturbed so much so that today the problem of climate change has become the most challenging task before mankind.

To preserve Nature and save it from further degradation, people of Mapithel valley area have been protesting against construction of Mapithel dam.

But it is unfortunate that instead of listening to the genuine grievances of the people, the Government has been trying to go ahead with its ill-conceived plan of constructing the dam, he lamented.

Exhorting the people of the area not to be fooled by the Government by giving Rs 1 lakh or Rs 1 crore, Simon said, ‘‘We have to think for the future generation. We have to preserve the Natural resources for them. Otherwise, they won’t even know the types of trees like the Uningthou, valuable medicinal plants, birds and animals which are found in the area’’.

Allowing construction of the dam in the area would lead to various problems like flood, ecological imbalance and water scarcity, he asserted, adding that people of the area are indigenous tribal people and no one should force them to give up their land.

If the Government needs the land of the area then it should be given on lease, he suggested, while adding that the Government has been creating many issues needlessly all in the name of development.

Aram Pamei pointed out that when any developmental program is to be taken up at any place, the Government should seek the prior approval and consent of the people living in that area. The Government should not force the villagers in this regard. The people also have the right to know the details of the developmental programs being taken up by the Government.

Village chief Yaomi, who was also present and spoke at the occasion, lamented that people of Mapithel valley area have launched various agitations like strike, bandh, rally, etc, in the past and demanded the Government to review the project but the Government has not been taking the demand of the people seriously.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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